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Tuberculosis

Updated 03 May 2018

10 things you need to know about TB

This World TB Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on leaders to work together and commit to bringing an end to one of the world's deadliest diseases –tuberculosis (TB).

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Every year, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is commemorated on 24 March, because it was this date in 1882 when German physician and microbiologist, Dr Robert Koch, announced that he discovered the bacterium which caused TB.

Today, the disease has killed millions of people and around the world healthcare professionals, researchers and scientists continue to explore methods to treat and eradicate the disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) theme for World TB Day this year is "Wanted: Leaders for a TB-Free World" and it's not only aimed at politicians, heads of state and healthcare professionals, but also at community leaders, health workers and even people affected by TB.

Here are 10 of our top articles speaking to TB. They speak to different aspects of the disease:

1. New test may soon be available for diagnosing TB in kids

One of the reasons why TB causes so many deaths in children is because it is often misdiagnosed as pneumonia or meningitis.

2. Fluffy could give you TB

From your pet cat to the lions of the Kruger Park, animal carriers of TB are becoming an increasing concern as research continues to reveal TB in the most surprising of places.

3. Drug-resistant tuberculosis - health officials' biggest fear

Almost half a million patients are now infected with multidrug-resistant TB every year, according to the medical organisation Doctors Without Borders.

4. SHOCKING: Several TB strains now incurable, say local researchers

According to scientists, as a result of patients not finishing their treatments for TB, several strains of the disease have become not just drug-resistant, but incurable!

5. New, quick TB test developed in SA

A point-of-care rapid diagnostic test for TB has been developed by a multinational team of scientists led by researchers at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

6. Here's why SA is on the forefront of using new TB meds

Treatment with a new and revolutionary drug has resulted in a huge drop in death rates in South African TB patients.

7. How to manage the side-effects of TB medication

TB drugs unfortunately have side effects – some more serious than others – such as nausea, vomiting, weight loss, decreased appetite, dry mouth and sore throat.

8. Drug fails to reduce TB among SA miners

What researchers described as a 'radical' bid to cut down on tuberculosis among South African gold miners has failed to prevent infections or deaths.

9. Why isn't SA getting these life-saving TB drugs?

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and other treatment providers in South Africa and globally have found that the first new drugs in half a century to be developed for treating drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) are offering new hope to patients — but significant challenges remain to improve availability and affordability of these treatments.

10. Can animals and food give you TB?

Animal TB poses a greater threat to human health and the economy than previously thought. A study has called for action.

Do you have an experience about TB that you would like to share? Send your stories to healthnews@health24.com and we may publish your story. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please let us know.